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To whom it may concern

DAVID WOOD   |  May 10th, 2011
 I am a Rohingya. An oppressed stateless people from Burma. 
The Burmese military has long oppressed Rohingya and been involved in an ethnic-cleansing program to prevent the creation of a Rohingya state.
My life in Burma was very hard. My family house was demolished two times by authorities and as a result we had to move to my mothers native village. Every person in that village was subject to violent abuses, fines, extortion, military harassment and corporal punishment. I am aware that at least 100 villagers are still in detention and many have died in detention. My father was died for the subsequent detentions. My siblings were detained in 2008. 
After I passed matriculation, I sneaked out Arakan (his home state) to Rangon to continue my study. If I did not leave in secret my family would have had to have paid a large bribe, which they could not afford.
In Rangon, I was involved in research into natural resources, as a part of my research, I was harassed, beaten and detained by government authorities. My colleagues managed to released me through a bribe.
To avoid further punishment, I escaped Burma to Thailand. In Thailand I survived by selling bread. I could not stay long (in) Thailand because of tension directed towards Burmese people. I then went to Malay border. I Malaysia, I was detained many times as Rohingya people (were subjected to) a constant cycle of humiliation, harassment and abuses. I was involved with Rohingya refugee organisations and Burmese political opposition groups based in KL (Kuala Lumpur). Then, I worked odd jobs in mechanical and electrical works.
Once I was detained, I (was) sold by corrupt immigration officials to people smugglers. I was then sold to a large fishing boat and forced to work at the threat of being shot at sea on the fishing boat. I managed to escape the boat when it came into land to collect ice and I ran from the boat.
In order to avoid further persecution, I came to your country via a risky boat journey from Indonesia. We, a group of 10 Rohingya, reached Ashmore Reef on 29 December 2009. And for the first time (there was) no fear of any more persecution. I was happy as I was sure I would find safety in Australia. I was found to be genuine refugee by DIAC since the end of May 2010. Since that time, I have been waiting for my security clearance. I am provided with good accommodation and food in detention in Australia. Some officers here are willing to listen to my concerns.
My life in detention however is very hard on my mind. I have been detained for 18 months. This makes me very depressed and I am tired (from) enduring physical and mental pains as a result of my detention. I have to take medicine for that. I feel as though I cant continue any longer to be detained like this. I have received many promises in detention. I was told in November 2010 that I should wait until the Christmas festival to be held. I was told many times that we may be able to be moved into community detention and be able to live free whilst I wait for my security clearance. On 17 March, the Government notice told everyone that their security clearance would be completed by April. I and my friends were happy to hear this after a long wait. I was told that us Rohingyans would be a priority case. I waited all of April for my clearance and have now been informed recently that it was be delay again.
I feel less and isolated, and I am an innocent refugee. I have been asked to go to a different country so I can escape this pain, but this cant happen. I do not know how long I will have to suffer from this indefinite detention. I have seen some friends attempt suicide, including by setting themselves on fire. I had to help move a friend down from a tree after he attempted to hang himself with a sari, a friend has banged his head a large number of times against a wall. Some have cut themselves.
I am trapped for an unknown reason. I am not a terrorist. I do not support terrorists and hate terrorists and my family has been the victim of many terrorist incidents from the Burmese authorities.
I should not be detained for being a refugee. Therefore I would like to approach the Australian communities to come together to call Australian Government to look kindly into the matter and why its notice is undermined.
Respectfully long term detainee Burmese refugee asylum seeker, NIDC NT.
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Rohingya Exodus